Faith, hope, and love–but the greatest of these is LOVE ❤️
Author: Renee/Heart Tokens
Life is a series of lessons we learn by way of the school of hard knocks. I feel I have a degree in this one. It has made me who I am today--I am Renee--My name is French, meaning Reborn. I believe there is a lot in a name, because that's just who I am. Spirit-filled. Encourager. Reader. Writer. Lover of love, God, His Word, hearts, dragonflies, nature and don’t forget coffee!~❤️Aka Nonna. 3 grand-boys, 2 grand-daughters-- 2 girls. Married 25 years.
“May God grant you always...A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”~~Irish Blessings~~
“The SEASON has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of doves in our land, filling the air with songs to awaken you and guide you forth.”
~Song of Songs 2:11–12 The Passion Translation
Today I say to you—It’s your season. I bring no frills, bells or whistles. This year is your time! A time for those prayers you have prayed to be spoken into existence!
Last night as the Word was spoken at church, the message was simple.
“You can’t possess what you are unwilling to pursue!”~Rev. Joe Eddins.
It’s our time to pursue. I saw my sister come back to God last night! A prayer request come to life!
I’m over the moon! I am seeing that “vision” that God wants so much for us all to “GET.” That it’s our season. 20-20 Vision!!!
WE SHALL RECOVER ALL!!! 💃🏼
I “get” it Lord. It’s our time to take back EVERYTHING that the enemy has stolen from us! Not just one thing, but ALL things!!! 🙌🏼💃🏼🎶
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;” Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 ASV
It had been an unmerry little Christmas just 3 days before. And the weekend before that, Moma had asked Daddy to take my younger brother and I to the next town over to pick out our own Christmas present. A small one. Christmas was slim pickings that year, as we were still struggling to pay on the medical bills left over from Moma’s cancer treatments.
She had been diagnosed with malignant lung cancer shortly the year before and had been given only a year to live.
I’m glad my parents told us the truth. It helped prepare us instead of waking up one day with a parent suddenly gone and not understanding why. It didn’t magically make things all better, but at least we got to enjoy what little time we had left with her.
My aunt who lived next door had become my Moma’s caregiver during school hours. At this particular time, school was out for Christmas Break. And yes, it was still called that.
There were few retail stores around my hometown back then. My aunt graciously agreed to stay with her long enough for us to go..
I chose a bottle of Charlie cologne. I can’t remember what my brother chose.
The next day after we had made that trip to the hospital into the bitter cold night, family started showing up at the hospital. Dad had used the hospital pay phone to call a family member with a home phone, and they had spread the word. I don’t remember every person who came. I do remember the preacher was called.
That night, I had just stepped out of the room so he could pray with Moma. My sister-in-law also left the room shortly after I exited into the hallway. As she opened the door, I glanced into the room and saw them praying. Moma who had been in a coma up until this point, was conscious and raised both hands into the air with a lively, resounding “Thank you Jesus.”
If there is anything I learned from that moment, it was that number one, God is so merciful! He is not willing for any of His precious children to die in an unrepentant state. No matter how far we get from God, if we call on Him, He will be there to forgive and save us, even if it’s a death-bed prayer.
My Moma and Daddy had stopped attending church seventeen or eighteen years prior. And had stopped living for God. Moma had gotten her feelings hurt by a church member, so she stopped going. Daddy tried in vain to get her to stay in church, but when he couldn’t talk her out of it, he backslid, too.
Somehow the sight of Moma making things right with the Lord filled me with great inner peace that night. Although I had not been raised going to church and definitely had not been saved yet, it was my desire for us all to go to Heaven together someday.
My sister-in-law asked me to go home with her and my middle brother for the night. They lived 30 minutes away in the next county. My younger brother stayed with another family member. I knew I could not spend another night in a straight-backed chair. And the truth was, I did not know if I could handle seeing Moma die.
Sometime late in the night, after I had fell asleep at their house my brother woke me and told me Moma had passed away. I was in shock as I got dressed and rode in the backseat of their car on the way back to the hospital. I didn’t cry. I found it hard grasping the reality that Moma really was gone. I didn’t want to believe it.
I can remember looking out the window up at the stars in the sky and feeling as numb as numb could be, as we rode in silence. When we got to the hospital, we were told the morgue had already picked Moma up, and the family had gone on to our home.
My middle sister didn’t make it in from Texas in time to say goodbye to my Moma. Going to the hospital, she discovered Moma had already passed. She broke down crying there. When she got to our house, her eyes were red and swollen from crying. We all hugged and sat around for a little while. I finally went to my room and slept for what was left of the night.
The following day our family made the arrangements. I’m not sure if the wake was that night or the next. I know that it was the most devastating thing I’ve ever been through. Seeing my mom lying in a casket was too much!
One of my 10th grade teachers had called my three friends I hung out with at school and let them know. They all showed up. They really didn’t understand what I was going through, nor did they know what to say. They could only say they were sorry.
The funeral was pretty traumatic for me, as if watching my Moma die a little every day up until that point wasn’t enough. I had told my family I wasn’t going, but changed my mind last minute. When I got to the casket, I collapsed and a different sister-in-law caught me before I hit the floor. She helped seat me on the front pew in the church, where the funeral was being held. I could not contain my emotions. A dam had burst inside me, and the river of tears flooded over the banks of my broken heart. I could not stop crying.
The graveside service was even worse for me. There’s something so final about a casket with your loved one being lowered into the ground.
I was unconsolable after that. I spent most my time in my bedroom crying.
Within the week, the Lord gave me a dream. I casually walked into the living room and there was Moma sitting in a wooden, straight-backed chair with children playing all around her feet. I stopped abruptly in surprise.
“Moma, what are you doing here?!” I said.
She looked up from watching them play with the biggest most beautiful and peaceful smile on her face! She didn’t speak any words aloud to me, but I heard them, nevertheless, through my mind. “ I love you baby. Everything is going to be ok.”
I woke up. I knew the Lord had let me know that she was at peace now and wasn’t hurting anymore. I would not call her back for anything! That part comforted me. I wish I could have said the same for myself. It would be a long, four grief-filled years before I could get through the day without crying or imagining that I could still see her lying in her bed, wasting away to a sack of bones.
It was a cold December night with record lows of below freezing temps in a sleepy little town in the South. The coldest it had been in around 51 years according to one news source!
I remember being jolted awake from a dead state of slumber. “Wake up. We have to take your Moma to the hospital. Hurry up and get dressed,” Dad directed.
Startled, I sat up on the edge of the bed. “What’s wrong?” I asked groggily, trying desperately to arouse myself from sleep.
“”It’s time,” Daddy replied.
With the sobering news, I jumped out of bed and dressed in record time. I vaguely remember cradling an electric blanket around my Moma in the backseat of our cream Galaxy 500 car.
Growing up, we had no phone in our home. Very few we knew had one.
She was so weak, she had to lean on my 90 pound frame, weighing around the same as I did at the time. Her moans were full of pain.
I didn’t know what to do, but hold her, not having any words. She didn’t seem to be conscious of anyone around her, only the excruciating pain.
Daddy had to be careful on the slick roads, especially with those brakes that could literally throw you through the windshield in a heartbeat! It was freezing outside and inside the car. My teeth were chattering. I don’t even think the heater had enough time to warm up on the trek to the nearest hospital 15 minutes away.
Stark trees outlined the walkway at the front of the ER. The hospital entrance and front wing were under construction, forcing us to walk down a very long, arctic cold hallway—more like a long handicap ramp. It seemed like an eternity before we walked to the end of that planked, unfinished maze, while Daddy carried Moma, still wrapped in the light-blue blanket.
I never felt so helpless and useless in all my life as we waited in the ER. The hospital workers took my Moma to a private room not too long after that. We spent a miserable and uncomfortable rest of the night there with Moma in a coma. The nurses reassured my brother and I that we were troopers through it all, but the truth is, we were scared out of our wits!
We would lose Moma this time. She had already given us a scare only two weeks before, and we knew she couldn’t last much longer in her weakened condition. Yet she had still held on.
We had said our goodbyes then. I had told her I loved her, and she had told me she loved me. Soon after that, I had prayed an unselfish prayer one night in my bedroom, “Lord please take my Moma home, so she don’t have to suffer anymore.” It took all the strength I had within me to voice those simple words. And then cry till it seemed I had no tears or soul left.
I had just turned fifteen not fifteen days before. I was young. Too young. And I was so scared to be alone, without my Moma. I did not want to see her go.
I look back now, and I can see she was holding out for the two children she had not seen yet—My oldest brother who lived in Florida and my middle sister who lived in Texas at the time. Everyone else had already said their goodbyes. Oh the love a mother has for her child! It’s stronger than any bond on earth I believe.
Moma had never felt that we kids needed to be shielded from death. I had attended more funerals growing up than I could shake a stick at. Honestly, I am grateful she raised us to be tough. To be strong. I think that has helped me hang on and live for God all these years. And be strong enough to face other difficulties of life.
I never knew a barely turned 15 year-old girl could feel like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders that night.. But I did. And that world was about to crumble and be turned upside down forever.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7
My daughter said something to me last night shortly before midnight, that I had not even thought about before then. Sometimes I’m a little slow. 🤦♀️🙄😂 The year of 2020………20/20 Vision.
I had been praying for my “one word resolution,” but had not gotten a clue as of yet to what it would be. Even after my daughter said those words with a chuckle, it didn’t hit me till this morning.
A NEW VISION
Out of the blue, the word “Vision” just spoke to me. I’m sure there will be others who adopt this one for obvious reasons.
Wouldn’t God want this for all His children this year? 🤔
May we all pray to see through “HIS eyes,” with 20/20 VISION in 2020!!! 🙌🏼
My most awesome and beautiful friend, Debbie has nominated me for the Virtuous Woman Award. I am a very blessed woman to have this strong and wise friend, whom I feel God Himself sent to me! We have shared moments over the phone where we have laughed together, cried together, prayed together and encouraged each other not to give up this race! She is the one who is a virtuous woman. I don’t think one has to be married to be one.
I want to encourage her to continue being a loving daughter to her mom whom she is caregiver to right now. This is a very hard, stressful and tiring job, but she does it with so much love and bravery! ❤️ And she loves her daughter and grandbabies like crazy! I’m convinced she could wrestle a polar bear or a grizzly if any ever dared mess with her hearts! And I think she would win, because her love is that powerful and would prevail!
Thank you Debbie for this nomination. I am truly honored!
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”
She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and a loving mother who works hard! She writes the most beautiful poems from her heart and it shows! Her comments are always seasoned with grace, and she spreads sunshine wherever she goes! The picture for a Virtuous Woman! 😄😇
If you are facing difficult situations that are wearing your patience thin to the bone, maybe this is for you….I don’t know about you, but I just feel like speaking life into the chaos. So here you go. Today’s song on my mind….An oldie